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Integration of Research and Practice: Innovations and Challenges in Social Work Programs

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This paper presents results from an exploratory, mixed methods study on the integration of research and practice in the social work curriculum. A web-based survey was used to collect data from 184 social work research instructors. Seventy-eight percent of instructors reported that their programs integrated practice content in research courses, particularly at the BSW level. In contrast, about half of instructors reported that research content was infused in other courses, with less integration reported in MSW programs. Qualitative findings consistent with Siegel's typology for research and practice integration include the use of research activities as clinical interventions, as a way to shape interventions, and as a problem-solving process for practice. The implications for social work education are discussed.
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Keywords: Council on Social Work Education (CSWE); Curriculum Integration; Research Education; Research and Practice; Social Work Education; Social Work Practice; Social Work Research Instructors

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: University of New Hampshire, USA 2: Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service, USA 3: Ball State University, USA

Publication date: April 1, 2012

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